Embraer’s brand new E195-E2 to enter service in 2H19

Embraer has reinstated that its newest commercial jet, the E195-E2, is to enter service in the second half of 2019. Besides the launch customer Azul Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras, Spanish airline Binter Canarias is also to receive the first E195-E2 this year, the manufacturer states.

Embraer reiterated the E195-E2 plans in its financial results for the second quarter of 2019 statement, released on August 14, 2019.

According to the company, the E195-E2 flight tests revealed a 1.2% “lower than expected” fuel consumption, meaning that the new generation E195 uses 25.2% less fuel per seat compared to the current-generation E195. Embraer claims that maintenance costs of E195-E2 are also 20% lower.

The E195-E2 received Type Certification simultaneously from the Brazilian Civil Aviation Agency (Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil, ANAC), the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in April 2019.

So far (as of June 30, 2019), Embraer has 124 firm orders of E195-E2 and 50 options. The latest orders were placed by the Nigerian airline Air Peace and carrier in-the-making Great Dane Airlines. With an order of 10 E195-E2s (and options for 20 more), Air Peace is to be the first African-registered operator of Embraer’s new-generation E-jets.

The E195-E2 is the largest commercial aircraft in Embraer’s portfolio. With a maximum range of 2,600 nautical miles, it can accommodate 120 seats in a two-class configuration or up to 146 in high-density variant. With a higher range and more seat rows than E195, the E195-E2 actually has little to do with the first generation of E-jets, as 75% of its systems are new, including engines, wing, landing gear, and full fly-by-wire.


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Embraer reveals lower commercial aviation profitability in 2019

Despite slumping income from its commercial aviation segment, Embraer reports $26.6 million profit in the second quarter of 2019 and reiterates its hopes to finish the year reaching an “approximately break even”.

Driven by better performance in executive jets and defence and security divisions, Embraer’s revenues reached $1,378 billion in the 2Q19, representing a year-over-year increase of 10.0% compared to 2Q18.

Embraer has reported earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) of $26.6 million for the three months ending on June 30, 2019. For comparison, the manufacturer suffered $20.3 million loss (EBIT) in 2Q18.

However, a runway excursion of the KC-390 military transport aircraft prototype 001 back in May 2018, resulted in $127.2 million impact on operating results. Embraer listed it as a special item in 2Q18. Taken it aside, 2Q18 adjusted EBIT was $106.9 million, meaning that this year’s result can be seen as a relative decline.

The company states that this is due to “lower profitability in the Commercial Aviation segment on slightly lower deliveries and less favorable mix, in addition to separation costs recognized in 2Q19 related to the strategic partnership between Embraer and Boeing”. Including the separation costs, Embraer still reiterates its guidance for 2019 EBIT margin of approximately break even.

Embraer is selling an 80% stake in commercial aviation activities to Boeing. The deal, which includes aftermarket support services, is valued at $4.2 billion. After the takeover, the commercial division will be renamed Boeing Brasil – Commercial. The transaction is expected to be approved by competition authorities by the end of 2019.

In the second quarter, Embraer’s backlog grew by $9 million and ended 2Q19 at $16.9 billion. At the end of 1Q19 it stood at $16.0 billion. The result includes all deliveries and firm orders obtained during the period. The highest sales activity was registered in the executive jet segment, as the company states the demand improved for its recently launched Praetor jets and Phenom family of jets.

The commercial aviation section revenues declined by 16.7% on a year-over-year basis. In 2Q19 they constituted 45.7% of consolidated revenues, while in 2Q18 ‒ 60.3%. The company has delivered 26 commercial jets during the period, the vast majority of which (22 in total) were Embraer 175s. During the first three months of the year (1Q19), the company delivered only 11 commercial jets, also almost exclusively of E175 model (in total 10 E175s and one E190-E2).


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Image: Rafapress / Shutterstock.com

Retrospective: The beginning of the end of Airbus A340

Airbus was competing with Boeing, McDonnell Douglas and Lockheed’s TriStar only in short and mid-hauls until 1993. But in the long-haul market, Boeing was robust with its 747 since 1970. To fill the long-haul market gap, Airbus designated the A340 to be a “true globe-trotter” that airlines could use on their longest routes. With better operating economics than the 747, the A340 was poised to take over the Queen’s throne as the king of long-haul flights.

On October 25, 1991, Airbus A340-300 made its maiden flight, before joining fleets of launch customers Air France and Lufthansa and officially commencing service in 1993. On November 10, 2011, Airbus announced that the company has finished the production of the once record-breaking quadjet and will not take on any more new orders. Merve Kara from AeroTime looks at the 18-years of history of the A340.

Record Breaker

Airbus A340 started out with a good beginning in 1993. On June 16, 1993, the aircraft, dubbed “World Ranger”, flew from the Paris Airshow to Auckland, New Zealand, and back in 48 hours and 22 minutes, breaking six world records, including the longest non-stop flight by an airliner. This record was broken by Boeing 777 on a 12,455.34 statute miles (20,044.20 km) flight from Seattle, the U.S., to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in 1997.

Airbus developed four A340 variants: A340-200, A340-300, A340-500 and A340-600. The A340-600 was the largest-capacity member of the Airbus A340 Family, which would become the longest-range commercial airliner until Boeing 777-200LR appeared on the stage in 2005. Virgin Atlantic announced it will become the worldwide launch customer for the new A340-600 in August 1997.

As the competition continued between Airbus and Boeing, the U.S. planemaker came up with a new move in 1999. When Singapore Airlines ordered 17 A340-300s, all 17 of the A340-300s were purchased by Boeing in order to sell 10 new 777’s to the carrier in 1999. It would not be the last bad news for the A340. The Wall Street Journal reported that Thai Airways International halted its 17-hour non-stop route from Bangkok to New York to save fuel costs. Thai Airways flew the last flight on the route on July 1, 2008, and sold its four A340-500s.

Airbus A340

Airbus A340

Last goodbyes to the A340

On November 10, 2011, Airbus announced that the production of A340 had ended. As for the reasons behind the decision, the company’s spokesperson told AeroTime: “Given the low orders placed for the aircraft type, Airbus decided that no new A340s would be built from November 2011. Airbus however still fully support the global A340 fleet as long as they are on operation”. When all airlines decide to retire their A340s, it will be the final ending for the aircraft.

There are other ideas on why Airbus stopped the production of A340. Aerospace engineer Thomas Stagliano shared his ideas with AeroTime: “Airbus was developing the A330 and the A340 at roughly the same time. The A340 with four engines and the A330 with two engines. First flights in the early 1990s. By then it became obvious that the airlines wanted long-range two-engine aircraft with the more modern larger and efficient and more reliable jet engines”.

Stagliano thinks that the competition between Boeing and Airbus hastened the process of ending the manufacturing of A340s.“Boeing came out with the 777 a year later in 1993 and that was a long-range two-engine airliner and that was the doom for the A340. Airbus needed to go back and make larger versions of the A330,” he explained.“The A340 ran its course quickly and then Airbus followed Boeing into composite aircraft with the A350 to counter the 787,” Stagliano added.

Recently, Virgin Atlantic announced that the company will phase out its last remaining Airbus A340-600s at the end of 2019 as it announces new order for 14 A330neos. By that time, 131 A340-500/600s were made, of which 123 remain in operation (as of July 30, 2019, including Virgin Atlantic’s six), according to Airbus’ Orders and Deliveries file. The largest operators of the type remain Lufthansa and Iberia (both airlines have 17 A340s in their fleets).


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Image: Airbus

Norwegian ends transatlantic flights from Ireland; blames 737 MAX

Norwegian Air is cutting its flights from Ireland to North America starting September 15, 2019. The airline, which aims to restore profitability, has decided to end six routes from Dublin, Cork and Shannon to Canada and the United States, citing that “these routes are no longer commercially viable”. According to the company, the decision was heavily influenced by Boeing 737 MAX groundings.

Norwegian, which operates 18 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, opted to continue the routes despite the global groundings. The low-cost carrier wet leased aircraft to replace the jets but eventually said that the solution is “unsustainable” long-term due to the uncertainty of when the 737 MAX will return to service.

“Compounded by the global grounding of the 737 MAX and the continued uncertainty of its return to service, this has led us to make the difficult decision to discontinue all six routes from Dublin, Cork and Shannon to the US and Canada from 15 September 2019,”.senior Vice president of Long-Haul Commercial at Norwegian, Matthew Wood, said.

However, flag carrier Aer Lingus has quite a different opinion on the unprofitability of transatlantic routes from Ireland:

In its Q2 2019 financial report, Norwegian noted that it has current (or short-term) lease liabilities amounting to $432,644 (NOK3.848 million). Compared to the same period in 2018, Norwegian had 0 liabilities. The airline expects the groundings, which have affected “demand, operating expenses and production” to negatively impact its 2019 results by approximately $78 million (NOK700 million).

Norwegian will provide passengers with the option to reroute onto other flights within the airlines’ network or grant the choice to get a full refund if customers “no longer wish to travel”. The airline is also in contact with it’s pilot and cabin crew unions based in Dublin to “ensure that redundancies remain a last resort”. Icelandair, another airline heavily impacted by the groundings, released 45 pilots back in June.

Other airlines have also been cautious scheduling flights with the grounded jet – Air Canada and Southwest Airlines delayed flights with the MAX until January 2020.

Norwegian was the first airline to publicly demand Boeing for compensation. In a video message back on March 13, 2019, the now-former CEO of the airline, Bjørn Kjos stated: “It is quite obvious that we will not take the cost related to the new aircraft that we have to park temporarily. We will send this bill to those who produced the aircraft”.


Source: Norwegian

Image: Senohrabek

Kochi Airport suspends operations after water level rise

Cochin International Airport in Kochi (India) became non-operational due to a rise in Periyar river and a canal adjacent to the airport.

Cochin International Airport (COK) informed that all aircraft operations are suspended due to the flood until 3 pm on August 11, 2019.

Nine flights are affected and are either diverted or canceled:

1. Air Asia Intl. canceled on August 8 and 9

2. Qatar today’s flight diverted to TVM

3. Oman flights on August 10,11,12 will be operated from TVM

4. Kuwait August 9 and 10 flight canceled

5. Fly Dubai will be operating from TVM on August 9

6. Gulf Air canceled on August 9 and 10.

7. AI 510 will be operating from TVM on August 9

8. All Air India flights on August 10 will be operating from TVM

9. All pax traveling by today’s EK532/533 has been rebooked to TVM, SMS sent by Airlines

The heavy water flow in the Periyar river has once again started on August 8, 2019. Red alert has been issued in nine affected districts: Ernakulam, Idukki, Thrissur, Palakkad, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Wayanad, Kannur, and Kasargod. The natural disaster has already claimed 14 lives since August 8, 2019.

Last year, due to the same disaster, the airport was shut for 14 days, due to which it suffered an estimated loss of $2.4-2.7 million (Rs 220-250 crore).


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Ryanair to close number of bases starting next year

Ryanair will close a number of bases due to the late delivery of up to 30 Boeing MAX aircraft from next year.

Ryanair spokesperson told AeroTime: “As announced on July 16, 2019, due to the late delivery of up to 30 Boeing MAX aircraft this winter a number of Ryanair bases will be cut or closed this winter.

“These consultations are taking place with our people at affected bases currently. No routes will be affected as they will be served by flights from other bases from November when the winter schedule starts,” the spokesperson added

The company expects that it will receive its first Boeing Max200 between January and February.

“Ryanair will now revise its summer 2020 schedule based on 30 incremental aircraft, rather than 58. This will cut Ryanair’s summer 2020 growth rate from 7% to 3%, and means full year traffic growth for the year to March 2021 will be cut from 162m guests to approximately 157m,” said Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary.

Ryanair did not specify which bases are going to be closed. However, industrial action at some bases are already hinting of which ones it might be.

According to Portuguese media, Faro Airport will be one of the bases which Ryanair will close in winter.

Accessibility to the region will not be affected by the closure of Ryanair’s base in Faro in January 2020, Algarve Tourism President João Fernandes told the Portuguese news agency Lusa.

Ryanair’s spokesperson also confirmed that neither routes or frequencies to and from Faro will be affected by the closure of Ryanair’s base, as it plans to operate like the other 41 airlines flying to and from Faro airport ‒ without having a base there.

Cabin Crew Union president said that Ryanair is closing its base at Faro airport in January 2020. This would result in layoffs of some 100 workers, but flights would be maintained, as it is reported by Lusa.

SNPVAC cabin crew had called a strike August 21-25, 2019.


Source: https://bit.ly/2YWVwRg

Image: Ryanair

American Airlines to add 5 international routes

American Airlines has just announced some significant expansion to its summer 2020 schedule. The carrier will launch flights from Philadelphia to Casablanca, from Dallas-Fort Worth to Tel Aviv and from Chicago to Krakow, Budapest and Prague.

When American starts flying to Morocco next year, it will be the airline’s first gateway in Africa as well as American will be the only U.S. carrier offering nonstop services to Casablanca. The new route will be operated three times per week on a Boeing 757. Flights are scheduled to begin as of June 4, 2020.

The addition of the new route from Dallas-Fort Worth to Tel Aviv is a response to the growing demand for travels between United States and Israel. American Airlines is adding three weekly flights from Fort Worth hub, where connections to more than 33 new cities in the U.S. (such as Austin, Texas, and San Jose) will be possible. The route is set to launch as of Sept 9, 2020.

American Airlines continues its growth in Eastern Europe, which results in three new destinations, including first route do Krakow (5 times per week), Poland and new services to Prague (5 times per week) and Budapest (4 times per week), where the airline began flying to seasonally from Philadelphia in 2018. These destinations will be operated by a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, featuring new Business Class and Premium Economy. Flights to Krakow and Budapest are supposed to start as of May 7, 2020, and to Prague as of May 8, 2020.

American will be the only U.S. carrier providing service to Krakow, Budapest and Prague. Besides, LOT Polish Airlines also flies from Krakow to Chicago and seasonally from Budapest to Chicago.

Flights to Tel Aviv will be operated year-round, while the other will be provided only in the summer season.


Source: https://bit.ly/2YQIzIB

Image: American Airlines

Airbus reveals seabird-inspired AlbatrossOne [Video]

Airbus built a new “semi-aeroelastic hinge” wing concept that could help reduce drag and counter the effects of turbulence.

The AlbatrosOne is a remote-controlled aircraft demonstrator. It is a scale-model version of the A321 aircraft, featuring semi-aeroelastic hinged wing-tips.

Airbus new wings concept took inspiration from the albatross sea birds, which can soar hundreds of kilometers without flapping its wings. These birds have the capacity to cover a long distance with very little effort.

“AlbatrossOne is the first aircraft to trial in-flight, freely flapping wing-tips—which account for up to a third of the length of the wing,” said Tom Wilson, Airbus engineer, Filton, UK.

According to Airbus, the aircraft has already taken its first flights to prove the concept Further testing will be conducted on the demonstrator.

“Initial testing of AlbatrossOne has examined the demonstrator’s stability with the wing-tips locked and completely unlocked,” said fellow Filton engineer James Kirk.

“The next step is to conduct further tests to combine the two modes, allowing the wing-tips to unlock during flight and to examine the transition,” he added.

The company indicates that the new wings concept will inspire the next generation of the aircraft wings.

Biomimicry. Courtesy of Airbus.

Biomimicry. Courtesy of Airbus.

Biomimicry by Airbus: Eagle, shark, and albatross

The Airbus A350XWB, a long-range aircraft that came out in 2015, was featuring a special sharkskin-style coating. Airbus also unveiled the sustainable “Bird of Prey” at the Royal International Air Tattoo event on July 19, 2019, an electric hybrid concept aircraft inspired by the feathers of an eagle.


Source: https://bit.ly/2GU0Ivc

Image: Skeeze

Big expansion for Republic Airways!

The regional US airline, Republic has confirmed this week that it is greatly expanding its operational partnership with the mega-carrier, Delta Air Lines. The new agreement will mean a further 30 Embraer 175 E-Jet aircraft will join Republic’s fleet which will expand the carrier position as the world’s largest E-Jet operator with over 220 aircraft. The first aircraft is scheduled to be delivered during October 2019 with the last one expected to arrive before the end of July 2020.

Currently, Republic flies around 38 aircraft for Delta and expects the expansion to increase its scheduled daily operations for Delta by more than 75%. “Our partnership with Delta is a vital part of our business, and we’re excited by the opportunity to expand our relationship with Delta and continue to serve its customers,” said Bryan Bedford, Republic Airways president and chief executive officer. “Over the last several years, our team – flight attendants, mechanics, pilots, dispatchers, associates in every department – has been working hard to position us for growth and to enable us to respond to the needs of our codeshare partners. Their hard work is the reason we can make this announcement today.”

To suppose this massive expansion, Republic will open two new bases, Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) and Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport (SDF). The Boston airport is scheduled to open in December and will be a crew and a maintenance base. Republic already has a maintenance base at Louisville and will add a crew base there in December.

Republic has come a long way since its early days of August 1974 as Chautauqua Airlines when it operated two Beechcraft 99 aircraft. Now the airline employs more than 6,000 people and is already the second-largest regional airline in the country. It operates more than 1000 daily flights to around 100 cities across the US, Canada, Central America and the Caribbean.


Source: https://bit.ly/2YUxWAs

Image: Republic Airways

Exploring the future of space with Charlie Camarda from NASA

Charlie Camarda is an American engineer and NASA astronaut who was part of the first mission into space after the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster in 2003. Camarda flew the STS-114 “Return to Flight” Space Shuttle mission, which launched on July 26, 2005, as mission specialist five. His 45 years of experience at NASA as a research engineer in thermal structures for hypersonic vehicles, included serving as a senior advisor for engineering development at NASA Langley Research Center.

Merve Kara from AeroTime spoke with Dr. Charlie Camarda about his experience on board the “Return to Flight” mission and his view on the future of space exploration.

The crew of STS-114

The crew of STS-114. Charlie Camarda is third from the right. Courtesy of NASA.

Your mission, STS-114 “Return to Flight”, followed the tragedy of Space Shuttle Columbia. How did the accident impact your mission? Did it affect how you felt about your flight?

It did not affect how I felt about my flight. It did impact our mission as it had to be totally redesigned. It was going to be a logistics mission to carry supplies up to the Space Station and fix a large and control gyroscopes. After the accident, it took us about two and a half years to figure out what caused the accident and to create technologies and procedures that would ensure that we would fly safely.

Our entire mission was redesigned because we had to develop new technologies to inspect the vehicle technologies to potentially repair the vehicle if there was another debris strike on our mission. For me, as an engineer, it was the perfect mission because we had a lot of experiments to conduct to test new technology and new ideas.

What was the most memorable experience for you during your lengthy career at NASA?

I had such a long career at NASA. I worked at NASA for 45 years and just recently retired. Our space mission was definitely one of the most rewarding experiences. We flew in space after the Columbia accident, we lost seven crew members friends, colleagues, and classmates. So to be able to work with teams of engineers around the country to understand and to help fix these problems to enable us to fly safely, I think that was the most memorable experience. Flying with this unique team and a very critical mission that we had and to pull it off perfectly with the help of hundreds and thousands of engineers on the ground.

On June 27, 2019, NASA declared a brand new mission on Saturn’s largest moon Titan. Mission Dragonfly will launch in 2026 and arrive in 2034. NASA predicts that it will provide clues to how life may have arisen on our planet. What can be the effects of this mission on future space missions and scientific developments? Can it mark an era like the Apollo 11 did?

I think, what we are seeing right now, is the idea that when we move further and further out into space, we are not doing it just to plant the flag and to say we accomplished something. We are doing it with the intent to basically provide a sustainable presence even on the Moon or Mars. What we learn about moons of these planets will help us determine where the best place will be maybe to initiate a colony, a base, where we could begin the colonization of one of these heavenly bodies in order to explore further and further out into space.

To do that we are going to have to learn how to live off the land – we can not carry all the supplies that we are going to need on these missions, they are very far away from the Earth and so they have to be as autonomous as possible, because the communication lag could be 20-40 minutes or longer.

I think this is a new era of exploration because we are looking at what it will take to actually live for long periods of time off our planet.

The Kuiper Belt object, known as “Ultima Thule”, is the farthest in our solar system. NASA New Horizon’s flyby of that object, that took place on January 1, 2019, is a kind of mission that is accomplished using unmanned spacecraft. What do you think about the future of human spaceflight?

I think the future of human space flight is going to be a combination of all of the above. We are constantly conducting unmanned, uncrewed vehicles to go deeper and deeper out into space and I think it is going to be humans plus robotic missions in order to accomplish this.

For instance, in order for humans to survive on Mars, we are talking about the possibility of sending initial, robotic missions to help prepare the facilities that astronauts are going to use. These ideas are not any different than human exploration on the surface of the Earth. For instance, when we explore extreme environments like the North Pole or the South Pole, we might have way stations with supplies for pioneers, the explorers, to survive as they go further and further in their exploration. We are using those same techniques as we explore deep space. Only now, we have robots and are able to use them to maybe create fuel that we will use in order to supply fuel for the return trip back, habitats and initial landing pads for astronauts to use.

Looking back at the first space missions, a lot has changed since. What, in your opinion, are the most significant developments? What is the most significant change when comparing current space missions to the ones 50 years ago?

Unfortunately, I do not see much of a difference. I do not see radical improvements to the way we do things in space. There are a lot of incremental improvements in propulsion systems and material systems. We are still using chemical rockets. To go deeper and deeper into space, we really have to make radical advances in technology, especially propulsion technology. Unfortunately, the United States has not been investing enough resources in the far-out research that we need to do. We are not doing enough research in critical areas like advanced propulsion systems.

The other thing we are really not doing is improving the safety of these missions. I have not seen a radical improvement to the safety of how we fly people to space until we do that, I really do not believe commercial spaceflight is going to take off. Imagine there was one-in-fifty chance that an aeroplane would crash. Would you fly on that aeroplane?